Compare abstract and figurative approaches to art
The close engagement between the individual and the work of art, whether an artist’s process of making or a viewer’s experience of looking, is the focus for this display. It includes depictions of artists’ studios as well as abstract works that draw attention to the complex nature of perception.
In this opening room, works by Eva Hesse and Antony Gormley have been brought together to introduce two contrasting approaches explored in the rooms that follow. Hesse was one of many twentieth-century artists whose work turned away from the recognisable world and towards abstraction. Gormley’s sculpture shows how, at the same time, artists have continued to find new ways to represent the human figure.
Artists leave their mark on their work, and on the world, in very different ways. Gormley casts his own body in lead, seeing his sculpture as a tool to link ‘inner and outer worlds’. Hesse described her work as rooted in ‘contradictions and oppositions’. Her sculpture Addendum is based on order and repetition, with a precise mathematical sequence determining the space between each unit. Yet it also allows a touch of chaos, as the cords hang down and curl in an unruly tangle on the floor.
Curated by Matthew Gale